Thrive Market review

I am not sure if I will start posting on here again, but I decided to put information and pictures here about my thrive market experience for friends that may be interested.

My my order just arrived and I am very excited!  Everything was packaged very well and arrived in one piece. Well, the applesauce cups fell out of the cardboard when I took it out of the bag, but they aren’t broken and I would take them out soon anyways.  I placed my order on Friday and they shipped the order out on Friday.  I didn’t get it until Wednesday which is slower than says mason prime, but did make it in pretty good time considering that there was weekend in there and it came from California.

 

Here is what I got:

imageimageimageimage

 

Top left to right and then Bottom left to right for picture on top right.

One Degree Sprouted brown rice crisps $3.95

Tru roots sprouted green lentils $4.95

Tru roots ancient grain gluten free pasta $3.45

Tru roots sprouted organic quinoa trio $5.45

Earth’s Best organic applesauce cups $2.95

Inka crops plantain chips (2-pack) $2.95

organcville sky valley sir racha sauce $5.95

frontera red chile enchilada sauce $1.85

Raos tomato basil marinara sauce $6.95

Amy’s organic refried black beans $2.44

coconut secret raw coconut aminos $4.45

Kettle foods real sliced potatoes $2.25 each

Mary’s gone crackers black pepper crackers $ 3.95

Simply stock vegetable stock $2.14 each

organic chicken bone stock $4.35

Annie’s BBQ sauce $3.25

primal kitchen avocado mayo $7.45

Most of these items are a dollar or two cheaper than what I can find anywhere else around here or on Amazon.  There is the yearly membership fee of $59.95.  Though I know that I saved more than $5, which is how much it is a month.  I didn’t order coconut oil because I still have plenty.  I am paying more than $7 on Amazon for that a month, so if I get that everything else will be additional savings.  If you spend more than $49 shipping is free.  I have already started adding theroducts I plan to buy to my favorites on my account.  I know at the beginning of May I will order what I need for the month which will end up being 25+ items.

I have been spending a lot of time lately pricing things out and making a sheet of everything in my pantry and freezer and what I will buy where for the best deals.  Over the summer I will be getting most of my produce from my garden and farmer’s markets, my meat from Wallace farm and pantry items from Thrive.  I only plan to go to the grocery store a couple of times a week.  I also loved being able to get my groceries delivered to my door.

if you want to try Thrive out you can get one month free without membership fees.  If you use my link you can also get 15% off your first order.  I will also get a referral credit, just to be up front about that.  I hope that you if you buy a lot of items they sell you will try it out, whether you want to use my link or not!

http://thrv.me/zgk

 

 

 

 

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With Every Season…

Now that you are probably singing turn, turn, turn; oh was that just me?  I was hoping to post more on here, but then life got busy.  We have entered a new stage in life.  My oldest son started kindergarten a couple of weeks ago and at about the same time I started a new part-time job.  With a new job comes training, so I feel like I have barely had a moment of down time.

I picked up our second Azure Standard order today.  That reminded me that I never reviewed my first order.  I have been very pleased with my orders and the company.  Something that I learned from my first order is that my stuff is on the truck for about a week.  That is something to keep in mind when ordering produce.  Here is a picture of my first order.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=3f17a0aa41&view=att&th=1398e6b14ab2fded&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9i-Gp3i1rGCZL2nAu1d5vg&sadet=1346714917676&sads=dds7tk7ORVo7cVGCbhD9xY3Qo-E

Two boys I know had to pose in the picture as well.

This time I didn’t get my coconut milk; which is something I use about everyday.  Other than that the couple of other things that I didn’t get weren’t things I really needed.  One of the things I love is that you can add things to your cart on-line all month long.  Talk about easy grocery shopping.  Trying this bulk shopping has also helped.  I saved about $25 this month and hope to save even more as I become more of a pro at this.  This also includes everything being natural or organic, which is not what I would buy when I would spend my full grocery budget and sometimes even go over budget.
Another new thing I have tried recently is semi-personal training at a local gym.  I got a deal off of a groupon type site and tried my first session last week.  The biggest thing I learned; I am very weak and not in as good of shape as I thought I was.  I was so sore for two days that I could barely move.  It is a good sore though, right?  I have my next one on Wednesday so we shall see how I do then.  I only have 4 of these, so I hope to remember some of the exercises and do the ones that I can at home.

The last new thing that I have done in my quest for healthy living is to place my first order of cloth pads.  I may be crazy, but I am really excited to try them out.  And, no I will not be cleaning them by beating them on a rock outside as my husband keeps saying.  I have really sensitive skin, so I am hoping these will work out and not cause any irritation.  I also like the bonuses of no chemicals, less waste and the cute factor.

Minky Bean  Liner

I mean, come on, how cute are those?  I enjoyed cloth diapering and now that my two are out of diapers I thought that I would give them a whirl.  I will give a review once I have received them.  Here is the website that I ordered them from if you want to check them out.

http://www.talulahbean.com/

I hope to have a new menu plan as well as some recipes soon.  I hope that everyone had a great long weekend.

What are some steps you are taking to be healthier this week?

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Good afternoon!  That was my first attempt at posting a picture.  I am sorry it is small and not very good.  It was taken by my iPhone.  Until my hubby teaches me how to be more of a techy, it will have to do for now.

Last night the boys had blastball (which is like t-ball, except the base squeaks, there is only one base and no score is kept) and we wouldn’t be getting home until 6:30.  I had planned on doing breakfast for dinner and had defrosted some breakfast sausage links that I had gotten from Wallace Farms, but wasn’t sure what to have with it.  I also had most of a fairly large zucchini that was left from my CSA box from last Thursday.  I know that large zucchini are better for baking with, so I decided to make muffins to go with dinner.  We ended up having scrambled eggs, sausage, muffins and fruit.  Since I made the muffins ahead of time dinner was ready in about 15 minutes.

The muffin recipe that I used was from 100 days of real food and is found here. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/25/recipe-zucchini-bread/

I followed the instructions and made half of the big muffins plain and then added cocoa powder and just a handful of dark chocolate chips to the rest of the batter.  I made these one other time before and made the whole batch chocolate and added about 1/2 cup cocoa powder.  This time I just added it until the color looked dark enough to me and they turned out well.  When I added the 1/2 cup of cocoa powder I also added a splash of milk (you could use any liquid you would like).  This recipe makes 24 muffins or 12 regular sized muffins and 24 mini muffins.  Another thing to note is that when you first mix the batter before you add the zucchini it is very thick and kind of hard to mix.  There is so much moisture in the zucchini that this changes once it is added.  Just be sure to incorporate it well into the batter.  The mini muffins took about 15 minutes to bake and the larger 20 minutes.

I received a shipment confirmation for my azure order and was able to get everything except for the 10 lbs of white wheat and sweet potato chips.  I will try for those again next time.

It has already been hard for me not to go to the store again and get a thing or two that I didn’t really need, but wanted to add to a meal.  I am excited to see how this works, to break myself of the shopping habit and see what creative meals I come up with by the end of the month!

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Back to blogging and a new shopping plan

I haven’t blogged for a while and I am not sure if anyone is all that interested in what I write, but I am going to try and give it a shot again.  I have been doing some experimenting with different types of eating styles to try and figure out if my son and I have some allergies or sensitivities to certain foods.  That has made it hard to blog consistently.  I think that we have figured out that we all feel better if we limit our bread/wheat and dairy consumption.  I am trying to limit each one to once a day and focus more on eating grassfed, free range meats, fruits and vegetables.

I have also decided to try a new way of shopping.  I don’t know about you, but I have found myself spending way to much money on groceries lately.  I think part of the problem is that I am going to the store too often and the more I go the more I overspend and tend to impulse buy.  It normally looks something like this:

https://i0.wp.com/crappypictures.com/images/old/6a01538f62421f970b0168e6250135970c-pi.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/crappypictures.com/images/old/6a01538f62421f970b0168e6251850970c-pi.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/crappypictures.com/images/old/6a01538f62421f970b0163002ea25f970d-pi.jpg

(To read her full post go to http://crappypictures.com/2012/02/shopping-at-target.html)

So, in order to combat this I am going to try to do most of my shopping for the month at each store once and then each week go to the store only to get milk, juice, eggs, bananas, one fresh fruit, spinach or kale for my smoothies and maybe one other vegetable if needed.

My plan is this:

One order from Azure Standard  https://www.azurestandard.com/ (I just placed my first order with them and am excited to pick it up next week.)

One order from Wallace Farms.  This is an Iowa farm that brings grassfed beef, hormone free meat to a local store once a month. http://www.wallacefarms.com/

One trip to Target at the beginning of the month.

And one trip to Hy-Vee on the second Wed. of the month for their Health Market Sack Sale.

I will also pick up my CSA box from Bass Farms http://bassfamilyfarms.com/ once a week.

I am hoping that I can stick to this and really save some money while feeding my family pesticide free, hormone free, mostly junk free food.

I have already placed my Azure order and did my Target run for August.  We were completely out of milk and juice (which can lead to a major crisis :)), so I went ahead and picked up my August items yesterday.

Here is my Azure Standard Order: (Feel free to scroll past if not interested)

Code   Product Name                            Size        Qty    Price     Total
HB599  Jason Natural Biotin Conditioner        16 ozs.     1       $7.30   $7.30
HB598  Jason Natural Biotin Shampoo            16 ozs.     1       $7.30   $7.30
IC294  Nature’s Paradise Organics Baby 2 i     8 ozs.      1       $7.05   $7.05
NF086  Gamma Gamma Seal Lid for 2 Gallon P     1 each      1       $3.60   $3.60
NF087  Packaging Supplies Empty 2 Gallon P     1 each      1       $2.75   $2.75
FL123  Azure Farm Hard Red W.W. Flour (Uni     5 lbs.      1       $3.35   $3.35
FL055  Azure Farm Hard White W.W. Flour (U     10 lbs.     1       $6.85   $6.85
GR155  Lundberg Jasmine Brown Rice, Organi     2 lbs.      1       $4.45   $4.45
BP078  Red Star Yeast, Dry Active              2 lbs.      1       $9.30   $9.30
FG495  Stahlbush Island Classic Mixed Vege     3 x 10 ozs. 1       $5.60   $5.60
FG491  Stahlbush Island Broccoli Florets       3 x 10 ozs. 1       $5.60   $5.60
FG493  Stahlbush Island Cauliflower            3 x 10 ozs. 1       $5.60   $5.60
HB795  Nature’s Paradise Organics Hand Was     8 ozs.      1       $3.55   $3.55
QP172  Fresh Produce Potatoes, Yukon Gold,     5 lbs.      1       $4.25   $4.25
QP513  Fresh Produce Kale, Green Organic       1 Bunch     1       $2.00   $2.00
QP004  Fresh Produce Avocado, Small, Organ     3 ct.       1       $3.00   $3.00
SW194  Really Raw Honey Really Raw Honey (     1 lb.       1       $9.10   $9.10
SN529  Eden Foods Pistachios, Shelled, Dry     4 ozs.      1       $6.25   $6.25
SN643  Food Should Taste Good *Sweet Potat     11 ozs.     1       $4.85   $4.85
SN325  Mary’s Gone Crackers Herb Crackers,     6.5 ozs.    1       $4.00   $4.00
SN311  Kettle Foods Bakes – Hickory Honey      4 ozs.      2       $2.50   $5.00
DP134  Straus Family Creamery Yogurt, Plai     32 ozs.     1       $4.00   $4.00
CH052  LifeLine Montzarella Cheese, Organi     24 ozs.     1      $10.85  $10.85
CH057  LifeLine Cheddar Cheese, Sharp, Org     24 ozs.     1      $13.45  $13.45
QP317  Azure Husbandry Cherries, Rainier,      1 lb.       1       $3.25   $3.25
FG415  Bueno Corn Tortillas, Organic           3 x 8 ozs.  1       $4.20   $4.20
GY232  Farmer’s Market Pumpkin, Canned, Or     15 ozs.     1       $2.20   $2.20
GY932  Pacific Foods Cashew Carrot Ginger      17.6 ozs.   1       $2.80   $2.80
FL017  Bulk Vital Wheat Gluten Flour           1 lb.       1       $2.95   $2.95
DA013  So Delicious Coconut Milk, Unsweete     32 ozs.     4       $2.45   $9.80
BP059  Celtic Sea Salt Celtic Sea Salt Sha     8 ozs.      1       $5.95   $5.95
OL096  Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut Oil    16 ozs.     1      $10.65  $10.65

When placing my first order I found it helpful to see what other people ordered which is why I posted my order.  I also hope to post pictures of it when it arrives if I can figure out how to do that by then.  There are some great prices here and you can also buy things in bulk, like 25#s of flour and 50#s of other dried goods and such, but I thought I would try it out before I went that crazy.

At Target I got:

5 Things of Blueberry applesauce

A Big box of squeeze Strawberry Applesauce

Two small boxes squeeze Banana Applesauce

Two 10 pack boxes of Zone Bars

Two 6 pack boxes of Z Bars (they were on sale and I had a coupon for $1 off two boxes)

A 32 Container Maple Syrup

One bag Earth’s Best Chicken Nuggets- for the boys to eat while I am gone next week

Four bags of frozen vegetables- I had a coupon as well as I tried to get a couple of the microwave ones to make it easy for Jim next week

I also got Milk, Juice, Coconut milk, bananas, strawberries, spinach, and one bag of 72% dark chocolate squares.

Oh that reminds me I also placed an order at Endangered Species for 5 bags of dark chocolate for my chocolate fix each day.

 

Wow, if you read all of that you must have nothing to do 😉  Or you find this kind of thing interesting like I do, I may be a nerd and I know it. 🙂

 

If anyone is really interested I can also post what I ordered from Wallace Farms last week.  I hope to also post some meal plans and recipes soon.  Thanks for reading!

 

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Snow day

Today was a snow day, or really more of an ice day.  All of the schools in the area were at least delayed for two hours if not canceled all together.  Since my son is in preschool even a delay means no school for him.  We had a nice day at home and some of us may or may not have stayed in pajamas all day :).  To me days in side mean baking.  Since I am changing the way I cook and bake I have lots of things in front of me that I want to try, but I am not sure how they will turn out.  I tried two new things today and I am very happy with the way that they both turned out.  The second recipe that I tried was a different version of whole wheat brownies.  I gave into my love of chocolate baked goods this weekend and had a big chocolate cupcake on Saturday night.  While I enjoyed every bite I did not like the way I felt afterwards.  After another not so great weekend and feeling awful last night and this morning I decided to try another brownie recipe in hopes of finding one I love.  Well boys and girls this one is a winner.  I found the recipe on pinterest.  You can find the recipe here: http://www.jillianmichaels.com/fitness-and-diet-tips/the-ultimate-healthy-brownie.  I made a couple of changes to the original recipe.  I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and I used 1/2 cup honey out of the jar, but then it ended up being 2/3 cup honey heated.  I think that was some of the problem that I had with the other recipe was that I used too much honey.  I think these brownies taste and smelled more like the way you think brownies should taste.  I highly recommend that you try these today!

Now that I have covered the sweet, the next recipe is salty.  I saw a whole wheat pretzel recipe on pinterest, so I decided to makeover the aunt annie’s copycat recipe that I have used in the past.  My boys loved this wheat pretzel recipe and ate them just as well as the other recipe.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzel Bites

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
to taste coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons butter (melted)

 

PREPARATION:

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add honey, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450 then pinch off bits of dough and roll into a  thick rope.  Use a knife and cut into about 1″ pieces. (May optionally form into pretzel shapes if desired).  Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Bake in 450 degrees F oven for about  8 minutes for bites 10 minutes for pretzels or until golden. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.

I may try to make these completely with whole wheat flour, but I was afraid if I took out the bread flour they wouldn’t have the same bite and chewiness as regular pretzels.  I halved the recipe and it made about 24 bites.

I am hoping the weather is better tomorrow and I can take the boys out to the co-op that I like to shop at.  It is about a half and hour trip.  I really want to get some great organic produce.  There is also a children’s museum that we are members to in the same town and it would be nice to let the boys burn off some energy after being snowed in all weekend.  I hope that you are all having a great start to your week!

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Whole Wheat Brownies

Well I did it.  I tried the brownies.  I have to say, they are pretty good.  They don’t exactly taste like brownies and have more of a cake-like consistency, but I liked them and my 3 year-old ate them.  I did like the texture of them.  The biggest note that I have is that they taste like honey.  If you like the taste of honey I suggest you try them as is, if not I would keep everything else the same and try sugar.  I am going to try them again this weekend or next week and make them with sugar instead.  I will then add another note on here whether they are worth using sugar and having as an occasional splurge or if you should just use the honey and be able to have them more often in sticking with the days of real food rules.

Whole Wheat Brownies (adapted from a recipe I found on-line)

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or white wheat if you don’t have the pastry flour)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Dash of sea salt

3/4 cup raw honey (or sugar)

2 eggs

2 T unsweetened applesauce

2 1/2 T coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a square baking pan.

2. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients.

3.  In a larger bowl combine the rest of ingredients.

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined and spread into the baking pan.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

I baked them for 32 minutes and I thought they were a little dry, but my oven runs hot.

If you are in the mood for a somewhat of a healthy treat try these today and let me know what you think and whether you used honey or sugar.

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Third times a charm…

It has been a while.  I fell off the bandwagon this weekend and then I didn’t make any new recipes.  Don’t worry however (not that you were), but I am back with a vengeance.  It all started when I went out to dinner for girls night with our Sunday school class on Friday and then my husband and I went to dinner for date night on Saturday.  On Sunday we had Culver’s after church.  I was going to come home and make something, but we ended up eating with a friend and wanted to grab something fast as we were taking the boys sledding.  On Monday I had a lunch date with my husband as my in-laws invited the boys over for lunch with my nephew.  Today I am back on the straight and narrow.  I successfully made it through the day without eating out!  🙂  I do feel better when I eat whole foods and I am going to try to continue doing it the majority of the time, but I am realizing everything in moderation.

Anyways, today I made two recipes that I ended up tweaking a little.  I had been spending a small fortune on bread without junk in it at the grocery store, so I decided to try making my own bread.  I used this recipe, http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-100-whole-wheat-bread-recipe.  The things that I altered are this; I used 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup orange juice for the liquids, and 3 Tablespoons of butter instead of the oil.  I made the dough in my bread machine and then baked it in the oven.  My boys (all 3 of them) said that it was delicious and we ate almost half of the loaf today.  I think we had a winner.  🙂

The second recipe that I made was a baked macaroni cheese.  I made the macaroni and cheese recipe on 100 days of real food.  I then put the macaroni in a Pyrex dish and topped it with some more shredded cheese.  I broiled it for a few minutes to brown the cheese.  While that was broiling I melted a tablespoon of butter in a pan on the stove and added 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and toasted them up for a minute or two and then added some parsley, salt and pepper.  I turned the oven down to 375, topped the macaroni and cheese with the bread crumbs and baked for about 5 minutes more.  Everyone but my youngest cleaned their plates.  The 3 year-old didn’t like it, but my 5 year-old really liked it.  This is the third time I have attempted making whole wheat macaroni and cheese from scratch and the first two times he wouldn’t eat it at all and loved it to time.  I don’t know if it was just the repeated exposure or the fact that I let him stir the cheese sauce, so he felt like he was involved in the recipe.

In other news I ran 5 miles for the first time ever on Saturday and got a 4 mile run in today!  I am excited about these new distances that I am achieveing and hoping to keep it up!

Tomorrow I am going to attempt some brownies with whole wheat flour and honey.  Here is hoping they are as good as these two recipes.  Have a great night!

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